Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Memories of the Future Volume 1

Building on some online posts and podcasts, Wil Wheaton's published a new book, Memories of the Future Volume 1. It's the first in a planned series of eight books in which Wheaton reviews the first four seasons of TNG.

The first volume reviews first season episodes from "Encounter at Farpoint" to "Datalore." Each episode summary is divided into sections: Synopsis, Quotable Dialogue, Obligatory Technobabble, Behind the Scenes Memory, The Bottom Line, and Final Grade. The book looks professionally designed and laid out, with just one tipoff that it's a print-on-demand book from Lulu: there are blank lines as paragraph breaks instead of indents.

The tone is generally snarky, and the humour... well, if a friend was making those remarks while you were both watching the show, they might be funnier. They sometimes fall flat as written commentary. But what makes the book especially worth reading are the moments when Wheaton talks about what it was like to be there filming those episodes -- problems with writers and directors, the way the cast started coming together, and that sort of thing. But it's generally a light and breezy read -- a little too light for the cover price ($19.87 -- get it?), perhaps, but fun enough.

Wheaton's demonstrated in past books like Dancing Barefoot and Just a Geek that he can write, that he can be self-deprecating but also stand up for himself when necessary, and that he's come to terms with the whole Wesley Crusher experience, and even when he criticizes his own performance, you'll be laughing with him, not at him.


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